Hi, all. I came across your forum while I have been attempting to research a strange (to me) wiring problem.
I am a beginner when it comes to electrical projects -- I have only installed/swapped lights and switches in existing wiring. I am confident I have the ability to make careful changes to wiring but I haven't been able to find any good resources to read up on what I actually need to do to accomplish what I am trying to do here, so I hope someone here might have some ideas for me. Many thanks in advance!
A bit of background for the project, if I may (apologies for making this a long post but I think it will make more sense this way). I am in a new multi-level condo, and we had an electrician add recessed lighting and add a couple outlets here and there. My roommate instructed him to add another switch for the downstairs hall lights and that we MUST add motion detectors for the same lights. Unfortunately, I believe these two desires conflict, and the electrician chose to follow the "want" instead of the "need" and now I am in a bit of a mess.
Due to a lot of things, we decided we might be better off finishing the project either on our own or with another electrician. Scheduling someone else seems to be impossible in the near future, so I am hoping to go it on my own....
What we had:
3-way switch at front door, I think this is where the power comes in and also what goes to the lights
4-way box at the bottom of the stairs
3-way switch at the back door
What we have now:
3-way at front door
4-way at bottom of stairs
4-way at back door
3-way at top of stairs
What we need (for the sake of harmony in the home ):
3-way motion switch at front door
3-way motion switch at back door
If we can keep the switch at the top of the stairs (as a third motion switch or regular) that would be great, but what I have read leads me to believe I need to somehow lose the two 4-way boxes -- get rid of the box at the foot of the stairs (splice the wiring back together, all 4 wires from the 4-way in one wire nut?? where does the ground go?) and turn the one at the back door back into a 3-way switch.
So here are the questions:
1. Does that sound correct?
2. Anyone have instructions on how to safely and properly get rid of the 4-way box and likewise turn the one at the back door back into a 3-way? (or suggestions on a good book where I could get explicit directions for things like this)
3. Anyone have suggestions on the hardware I'd need to use? The electrician left us with 2 Leviton motion switches but I think they might be single pole (I can't be sure of the model number but they only have 3 lead wires: blue/load, black/hot, green/ground and I think the 3-way ones from leviton have 4 leads of completely different colors)
If it all seems needlessly complicated, well, good communication could have saved a lot of hassle but this is where I'm at now and I want to see if I can fix things. On the plus side, everything is actually working correctly, we just don't have the automation my roommate is aching for.
Thanks again in advance,